I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis(MS) in 2004.

This is a disease that impacts the nervous system in which the myelin sheath around the nerves is damaged.   The sheath around the nerves is necessary for sending signals to the various parts of the body.  This causes impairments to the senses, movement and cognition along with any other body functions in which nerves are involved.    Imagine the body as an electrical system and the wires become damaged, then you pour water on them and the electrical system begins to short out and fail.

I was diagnosed with relapsing and remitting form of this disease.     In this form you have a relapse or reappearance of your MS symptoms,  and then you remitting or return to your “normal”  baseline.      MS had a significant impact on my life.   It caused walking and balance issues,  tingling sensation on the whole left side of the body,  extreme fatigue,  and many other unpleasant affects.

I was taking a MS injectable medicine to prevent a relapse from ocurring and that was effective.   In addition to medicine for muscle spasms,   urine retention,  and fatigue.   I needed a whole lot of medicine to survive MS,  not to mention all the medicine I needed for my bipolar disorder.  I also needed a cane on occasion as I was disabled.

A primary tool to recovery from MS was yoga.     There are many different types of yoga with many different branches.     I will discuss the exercise portion of yoga or asana’s.   The other branches helped with my mental state (bipolar).   Before I was going to a traditional gym;  lifting weights and cardio machines.  Typically in a gym you are isolating a specific muscle or muscle group.    In asana practice you are not isolating one muscle,  you are working numerous muscles  through various postures.    You build strength and flexibility.   When starting I had little  flexibility or balance.   In the beginning it was rough,  my balance was horrible and my muscles were stiff.

However,  I went to a great studio (River Yoga) with wonderful teachers.  They helped me out through assists to get into the various postures using blocks,  straps,  whatever was needed to gain benefit  from the posture.   Even if I could only do a portion of the posture it would be beneficial.  The muscles were getting stretched out,  and flexibility was improving.   My balance got better,  and within 6 months I no longer need a cane.   My muscles no longer had severe spasms,  and I could reduce that medicine and eventually discontinue it.     In time,   I no longer needed any medicine to deal with the symptoms  of MS.

The traditional gym I realized after I left was too hard on the body.   When I would leave my workout,  I would hobble out of the gym.   I had severe muscle spasms from the weight lifting and cardio.

Today,  I take no medicine,  have no signs of health issues and no need for a cane.  Yoga gets a a lot of credit for assisting with my miraculous recovery.